Private Cedar Hills Hospital Raises Eyebrows

Cedar Hills Hospital intends to compete as Oregon’s only private psychiatric hospital

October 12, 2009 -- Local health officials have been intrigued by the Texas-based AscendHealth Corporation’s recent opening of Cedar Hills Hospital at 10300 SW Eastridge Street in Portland. 

 
As the only free-standing psychiatric hospital in the state, Cedar Hills has been marketing itself as a private alternative for mental health care and addictions treatment.
 
“The physical environment here isn’t at all institutional – it’s very inviting and welcoming.  Our layout enables us to develop specialty programs to individualize patients’ treatment,” according to a press release by Cedar Hills CEO Shanti Carter.
 
Mary Claire Buckley, executive director of the state’s Psychiatric Security Review Board, sees a barrier to Cedar Hills and other private institutions filling the gap. Buckley’s office deals with the forensic clients that make up a large portion of the state’s in-patient mental health facilities, but says the new hospital is yet another facility that will deal only with civil clients.
 
There are other problems with private facilities like Cedar Hills, according to Richard Harris, Addictions and Mental Health Division director of the Oregon Department of Human Services. Harris notes that private facilities tend to focus on acute care and are not as efficient as the larger state facilities.
 
“The beauty of the state hospital is that if can serve more people, it will reduce costs,” Harris says. “The costs of hospitals on society are mostly fixed.”
 
Such talk may stem from the element of competition, points out Gina Nikkel, the Association of Community Mental Health Programs executive director. “Cedar Hills Hospital is doing well, and some are pleased to have it, but some fear it will take away business,” she says.
 
The private hospital will continue to expand its reach, according to Laura Bryant, Cedar Hills’ Director of Nursing and Chief Operating Officer. Plans are in the works for a “Freedom Care” program for the military, a faith-based program and a specialized program for women.
 
For related story about mental health hospitals click here.

 

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Comments

BEWARE! CEDAR HILL HOSPITAL IS QUACKERY SQUARED! WHY WOULD YOU TAKE A SUICIDAL PATIENT AND GIVE THEM THE MAXIMUM DOSE OF AN ANTISPYCHOTIC, THEN ADD TWO MORE ANTIPSYCHOTICS AND 2 POTENT MOOD STABILIZERS THAT LESSEN THE EFFECT OF THE ANTIPSYCHOTICS AN EXPECT A PERSON TO GET BETTER??? THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY DID TO MY SON 2/2011. BY THEN HE WAS IN AN INDUCED MEDICATION PSYCHOSIS, AND BECAME PARANOID AND VIOLENT. HE WAS A PERSON WHO ADMITTED HIMSELF INTO THE HOSPITAL, AND WAS THERE ON A VOLUNTEER BASIS. EVEN SO THEY PUT A HOLD ON HIM AND TOOK HIM TO COURT AND TESTIFIED THAT HE WAS NOW A DANGER TO SELF AND OTHERS AND HAD HIM COMMITED TO THE STATE OF OREGON. THIS PRIVATE HOSPITAL SHOULD GO BACK TO TEXAS. PEOPLE IN PORTLAND OREGON BELIEVE IN A MORE HOLISTIC APPROACH, MAY THERAPY? WHY IS THAT NOT INCLUDED IN HIS ISOLATION TREATMENT. MAYBE ONE MEDICATION THAT DOESN'T INTERACT WITH OTHERS????? I HOPE THIS COMPANY GOES BACK TO TEXAS BEFORE THEY DESTROY MORE LIVES.

this place is a joke. do not admit your loved one here for mental heath. if one of the local hospitals in portland transfers you here, request a transfer back to a mainstream hospital. this is a privately owned hospital with a completer staff of rejects. unbelievable. hard to determine the staff from the patients. this place needs to be shut down, meanwhile avoid this despicable place called a hospital. you will leave worse than when you arrived. THIS PLACE IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. I WAS AFRAID THEY WERE GOING TO KILL MY SON WITH ALL OF THE MEDS THAT THEY ADMINISTERED THAT DID NOT INTERACT. CREEEEEEEEEEEPPPPY WEIRD STAFF.

BEWARE! Cedar Hills is a gritty organization with nothing but $$$ signs on their agenda/program. Their staff it's a mixed bag, some of them are very nice, very caring people by nature, certainly not by training and some of them are downright rude and insensitive. This lack of professional etiquette trickles all the way down starting with the program director. The food it's a nightmare for anyone with high blood pressure or high cholesterol. I could go on and on but I wont. Do yourself and your loved one a favor. DONT GO OR TAKE ANYONE THERE.

I am a licensed and very skilled mental health professional living in the Portland area. I recently left a phone message inquiry for the human resource staff at Cedar Hills Hospital. All I asked for was to know the scheduled days and hours of a position they currently have open. Thier job ads give little more than a very brief description of the job duties. They do not list scheduled days and hours or salary. I have seen this kind of "trick" before. Nevertheless, I inquired. I have not received a return call. This is a strong indication to me about the lack of professionalism and transparency in this company. I would not refer clients there.

While I agree with much of what has been said in the previous posts, I have a slightly different perspective, having spent 3 weeks at cedar hills recently as a patient. I would not have gone into much-needed treatment for psychiatric and addiction problems if I had known all this, but the reality is "where else was I going to go?" I have been in a state run facility before, (never again), and people have got to be kidding if they think a regular hospital is going to keep a dual diagnosis patient around for weeks. I believe cedar hills was a better choice for me. Yes, the staff are largely a bunch of recovering addicts and misfits. Who better to help someone with a problem than someone who has been there and come back? I found the staff to be courteous and professional even when unruly patients treated them like dirt. The food was not four star, but it was nourishing and much better than regular hospital food, and i have spent a lot of time in hospitals. the cooking staff was friendly and would happily make special arrangements to provide meals for vegetarians, diabetics, people intolerant of wheat, salt, or virtually any dietary need. the same for the nursing staff; a bunch of professionals who showed more concern for patients than i have seen in many years. the group leaders were all caring pro's, almost all PhD's or RN's, and the groups provide the experiences a lot of patients needed. I saw a great shrink almost every day, and with feedback from me and the staff we made some changes to my daily psychiatric and medical prescriptions that have greatly improved my life. There are a lot of things i would change about cedar hills if it were up to me, but who knows if the place would still work? I am still sober and my psychiatric meds are now working better than they have in years. If this place was as bad as some have said, would that be true?

I totally agree with the other comments. Communication and professionalism is very low. I have to call the facility 50 times to know what is the plan and it seems like a prison. You don't have any rights and any say at all. It doesn't matter to the doctor. My husband's doctor is very rude and it is not helping my husband at all. I want to transfer him in another place but I don't know if they will even allow that. I hope this place will get investigated and be closed.

I just left after a 10 day stay...much too long. I entered with signs of hypo-mania, but was stable within several days. However I was threatened with a hold if I tried to leave, which I did, and was told that this would not be happening. I was a very docile accommodating patient while there and deserved to be given my patient's rights, not have them taken away. At one point I was told that I would not be let go unless I agreed to move to another facility for ECT (shock therapy) treatments. I was bullied and grew to fear the staff at Cedar Hills. I luckily had an outside psychiatrist to call upon who advocated for my rights and I truly believe he saved me from another ten days in that place. Overall, I would never send someone I love to Cedar HIlls. Brookside at Kaiser Sunnyside is much more pleasant and their programs are much more helpful than those at Cedar HIlls.

I am a mental health professional. All I will say is for anyone considering treatment at Cedar Hills, go somewhere else. Read these entries carefully. Examine other options. This in and of itself is caring for yourself. Having been a staff at local area inpatient facilities I can say with certainty many of the staff are ill equipped by personality and or experience to be of much benefit. Hospitalizations should be as brief as possible anyway. They should be used for stabilization only no matter the need. Other area facilties offer this. Committing to longer term outpatient treatment is the key with a caring talented porfessional, psychologist or psychiatrist.

I have to say that I agree with all the above comments. I have seen patients over drugged. It is hard to get some of the doctors to listen to the nursing staff. At one point the nurses refused to give medications because the patient was so over sedated. Some patients have been transferred to emergency rooms because they received too many drugs and end up in a coma. Once you are admitted it is difficult to get out.

I had a family member in Cedar Hills, When we picked him up he was in horrible and unbelievable shape! Does anyone know if there has been any investigations or law suits with Cedar Hills or its doctors and staff??

Cedar Hills Hospital was for profit years ago until insurance limits were placed on MH benefits. Once placed, this provider left the state. Now we have MH parity and you can bet these sleezy providers will all flock back to Oregon.

I admitted myself because of overwhelming grief. I was looking for guidance to help me work through my grief. The director was totally condescending and the staff wrote in my file that I was emotionally needy, which I found offensive. They totally misread my grief needs. They were overly interested in any medications I am taking and gave the impression that they would override what my personal physician had prescribed for me. The schedule said three groups that morning but what they had was one group focusing on substance abusers avoiding relapse who have a handful of days clean and sober, if that. They have a printed schedule of group meetings which included art therapy and wellness that they give out and then it is not followed. They have very limited space for outpatient groups crowded with chairs almost on top of each other. It was not a relaxing atmosphere condusive for mental health wellness. I went for one day and I will not go back.

I witnessed that same 'group' and I agree. This group is full of really 'injured' people and they don't seem able to screen participants and have groups for different levels of need. When I tried to 'quit' I was told by my counselor that I had to stay a minimum of "6 to 8 weeks, 6 hrs per day, five days per week or my insurance would not pay for the time I'd been there." My husband then called the hospital and they told me to meet with someone in the business office who assured me I'd met my insurance co's criterion for payment and I could quit anytime I wanted. My counselor, when I tried to talk to her again about quitting said the business office was wrong, that SHE alone decided when I was ready to be 'done' with group. And she again said, "6 to 8 weeks". I checked again with the business office and was again reassured. The whole thing has left me feeling "icky". Oregon's institutional mental health system, what exists, is truly 'broken.' Sad!

I have never heard of an investigation from an outside state agency. Someone from the inside is going to have to blow the whistle on them.

I'm a doc that has worked for companies like this one. First: don't believe *everything* you read above, BUT believe a lot of it. Second: When you hear "It's all about the money," you can be sure that is correct when you are talking about administration. If the staff wanted to make money, they would have picked different careers. The trick is figuring out if the company has a balance between profit to stay open/relevant and providing high quality care. When you hear how miserable the staff is at a place like this (search the net for staff satisfaction scores), you can be sure that the place doesn't have a decent balance. If they treat the staff like rubbish, they will have rubbish for staff...So Third: look at the history of the corporate leadership. They've built several low-quality profit machines and sold them quickly. Do you want those guys directing your program?

You say don't believe everything you read. That is true. But I am an ex employee and everything in these blogs are true. I have seen it with my own eyes. They treat their staff poorly. They operate with the minimal staff needed. The workers are overworked and become stressed out. It is difficult to get out once a patient has been admitted because they use the entire allotment of insurance benefits allowed for that visit. They do it in a way that uses language the insurance companies understand. Their mental health practices are based on what the insurance companies will pay which are medications and group therapy. Their group therapy model needs updating because it is not consistent with what is being taught in schools today. They are not up to date with new scientific studies that are showing positive results for patients. So in one way you are right don't believe everything you read, but in this case it is all true.

I can just hope and pray they shut this facility down! We picked up our family member from there after a two week stay, he was in such bad shape we took him to his primary care doctor the next day and she had to addmitt him to the hospital because he had infected wounds from the neglect of Cedar Hills Hospital, it was very very sad! Please do not take your family members to this scary place!

The parent company of Cedar Hills has been blogged about for practices in its Texas facilities. Apparently the company doesn't take kindly to being criticized--they have sued the blogger for millions of bucks. But hey, the truth hurts, especially since what is being said in these comments pretty much supports everything s/he is saying over on that site. www.ubhdentonsucks.com Dr. Brenda Wells

I have had such very negative experiences with Portland's Institutional Mental Health programs. I took outpatient group counseling at Cedar Hills and experienced many unsettling events. The one thing that bothers me most is that they refuse to make available their staff's names or qualifications. Seems wrong, doesn't it? I mean, when you choose a Dr., they make THEIR education and background info easily accessible, why not the same standards for staff in a mental facility? It seems as important, if not more so. Mary Beth Hernandez

I'm a schizophrenic patient and I've been to almost every facility in Portland. Cedar Hills is by far the worst and I seriously considered suing them for how I was treated. The staff was more like prison guards, the other patients threatened me and I was actually slipped an energy drink against my will at one point. They forced me to wear a hospital gown and nothing else and made absolutely no effort to make my stay helpful or therapeutic. If your doctor wants to send you there I recommend you find another doctor. There are a lot of bad people in mental health but there is a huge concentration of creeps and sadists at this place.